BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With Hurricane Irma destroying the U.S. Virgin Islands, one woman from Baltimore County is stranded in Puerto Rico after the storm struck St. Thomas.
As a tropical paradise, faces utter devastation, Gail Pardoe had a front row seat to Irma’s wrath as it targeted the US Virgin Islands. It may be days before she gets home.
“St. Thomas is literally demolished now. It’s really sad,” she says.
Baltimore native Gail Pardoe took photos of Irma’s destruction during her vacation to the island.
Now safe in Puerto Rico, she described how her hotel was devoured by the storm.
“You heard the loud noises. You know, the water hitting the building. Then we were told one of the doors flew open. Flooding started in the areas we were in. There was nowhere else to go. Then we lost power,” she says.
The damage from Irma is hard to put into words.The governor of St. Thomas says four people have died. But, that number is expected to climb as more are rescued from toppled buildings.
“Roofs were blown off homes, buildings were collapsing. It was bad,” says Pardoe.
She is one of the lucky ones to get off of the island on a cargo ship. She’s still stranded, however, and unable to fly back to Baltimore — until Irma is finished.
But even with Hurricane Jose on its way, and being away from home, Pardoe says she still feels fortunate.
“We are here. We have food. We have shelter. God knows what’s going to happen to them after Jose comes tonight.”
Pardoe does not know right now how she’ll be getting back to Maryland. She says most Americans can’t find flights until late next week.
Several cruise lines say they are mobilizing their ships to help with the effort in the Virgin Islands. They’ll be bringing supplies to the hardest-hit islands and helping to evacuate survivors.